QE pupil crowned British Chess Champion

Year 8 pupil Ananthanarayanan Balaji has won the U13 British Chess championship.

He took part in seven matches at the Ponds Forge leisure and conference complex in Sheffield, scoring 5½ points – half a point more than any other competitor. In each match the first 40 moves had to be made in 100 minutes, with a further 20 minutes allowed to complete the game.

“Ananth has been very successful at chess over the last couple of years, coming first or second in a host of junior tournaments in England,” said teacher in charge of chess at QE, Geoff Roberts. “He is the first QE boy to win a British Championship in my nine years at the School and we are proud of his achievement.”

Ananth himself was particularly pleased with the result: “It was especially memorable because I beat several people this year who had beaten me in previous years.” He attributes his success to improvements in his own game and the careful analysis of his opponents’ games, which enabled him to anticipate their tactics and develop counter-strategies.

Following his victory Ananth was selected to represent England at the European Youth Chess Championship at the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Albena in September 2011. He played very well, despite being the youngest in his age category, and is now ranked 51st in Europe.